The photographers and reporters for National Geographic are in a unique and very influential position to document and record the failures of biotechnology on the planet. The nonprofit, which was founded in 1888, could shed light on how corporations such as Monsanto are destroying the diversity of the natural environment while polluting organic, eco-friendly agriculture.
National Geographic could make the connections; for example, they could document how genetically modified crops that are spliced with foreign bacteria genes to produce their own pesticide ultimately ignore the underlying problem of poor crop health that is deteriorating due to depleted soil microbiology and nutrition. Plants have natural immune systems, and without the ability to use essential elements such as selenium, chromium, zinc, and magnesium, the crops are weakened. Monsanto’s widespread applications of herbicides such as Roundup destroy the shikimate pathway of the plants they target and kill while also depleting the good bacteria the whole ecosystem depends on. This bacterial depletion of the environment prevents the crops from assimilating the vitamins they need to create robust immune systems.
National Geographic could show how these herbicides destroy ecology and ultimately contribute to chronic disease in humans. They could show how pests continue to develop increased resistance to the transgenic properties of crops and how this ultimately decreases yields for farmers around the world while failing to deal with the underlying problems of poor soil and crop health.
The failure of National Geographic to highlight these issues makes many thinking minds wonder if the educational nonprofit is nothing more than a propaganda arm of Monsanto. The publication’s true intentions started to show in 2015 when Simon Worrall of National Geographic interviewed Steven Druker, author of Altered Genes, Twisted Truth.
Simon Worrall’s interview came off as an ad for Monsanto, an attempt to discredit the facts that Druker presented about the economically driven biotech industry. At least for the moment, it seemed there might be conversation about the philosophical problems that come with genetically altering nature.
That conversation could completely die out now that National Geographic has been bought out by Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch is the owner of News Corporation, one of six mainstream media giants that control 90 percent of what people watch on television or read in the newspaper. The other five media giants are Viacom, Disney, Time Warner, CBS, and GE. Together, these six media giants steer the course of what is reported on, which greatly impacts most people’s view of the world and how they perceive major events. The consolidation of media power has been stunning in the past three decades. In 1983, 90 percent of the mainstream media was owned by 50 companies. Today six corporations dominate what people hear, read, and see, stifling different news angles, perspectives, and important topics altogether.
Rupert Murdoch controls the Fox News wing of the media, which also includes the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal. Murdoch owns things like HarperCollins Publishers, DirecTV, and Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Now he has complete control over the editorial direction of National Geographic.
In a stunning move to gut the longstanding infrastructure and vision of National Geographic, Murdoch called the entire staff of nearly 2,000 into their headquarters to receive word on their future with the corporation. Throughout the day, Murdoch let go of award-winning staff one by one. An estimated nine percent were let go. On November 3, a staggering 80 National Geographic employees received “involuntary separation” notices.
It’s now clear that Murdoch has a new vision for National Geographic, one that will look a lot like the Fox News narrative, which is heavily influenced by Monsanto propaganda. After all, it was Monsanto who forced Fox TV to censor a four-part investigative series on how Monsanto’s genetically modified bovine growth hormone (used in cow’s milk) was dangerously linked to cancer.